Tranmere vs Rochdale predictions and betting tips for this opening League One fixture on Saturday 3rd August. Promoted Tranmere begin life back in League One with a very winnable fixture against Rochdale, and they’ll be hoping to use Prenton Park to their advantage once again.
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Tranmere made light work of League Two last season with Mickey Mellon guiding his team to League One at the first time of asking. The men from the Wirral needed an extra-time strike to secure their place in the third tier, and they will be quietly confident of avoiding relegation trouble this campaign. They have lost James Norwood, who joins divisional rivals Ipswich, but they’ve recruited reasonably well, and should be solid and tough to break down once again. George Ray is an interesting addition to an already watertight defence whilst Sid Nelson rejoining allows some continuity. Darren Potter adds some much needed know-how and experience to the midfield, whilst Stefan Payne will be required to shoulder some of the goalscoring burden. Payne is a divisive figure, and reportedly, isn’t always the easiest to manage, but Mellon is adept at getting the best out of these types of players, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him thrive in this environment. Mid-table would be a realistic target this season, but they will be expected to get off the mark with three points on this opening weekend of the season.
Read More: See all of this week’s League One predictions and betting tips
Rochdale dispensed with the services of Keith Hill in early 2019, and replaced the stalwart with Brian Barry-Murphy. The Irishman helped tighten Dale up, and it resulted in him getting the job on a full-time basis. Staying in the third tier is a realistic ambition for the north west club, and a number of young players are expected to play their part once again. They haven’t overhauled their squad this summer, although Rekeil Pyke could improve for a second spell at the club. Rhys Norrington Davis and Robert Sanchez are the only other two arrivals with the latter coming off the back of an error-strewn spell in League Two last season. Fabio Tavares looks the best of the younger players who are slowly beginning to break through, and he will may be one to watch out for. However, Barry-Murphy looks up against it this campaign, although he will probably relish the battle.
A large part of Tranmere’s success last season was based around their form at Prenton Park. They won 15 of their 24 home matches (inc. play-offs), with 13 of their 21 clean sheets arriving on the Wirral. Their performance against Forest Green in the first-leg of the play-offs was the perfect illustration of how to close out a game, and there will be plenty of opportunities to take a similar approach this time around. Manny Monthe remains at the club, and the nucleus of the defence which was so superbly drilled last season remains. It’s hard to see Rochdale finding a way past them here. They have an over-reliance on Ian Henderson, and if he isn’t in superb form, they could struggle to break through.
Rochdale started very well, but their away form dropped off in the second half of the season. They had a 2-2 record away from home since Barry-Murphy was appointed, but they were hammered by promotion candidates Charlton and Portsmouth.
Dale will aim to keep it tight, whilst Tranmere will be happy to keep the game organised. Don’t expect this to be a high-scoring contest, so 10/11 with Betfred is a superb price.
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